The Turner Microphone Company was based for many years in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. What and interesting story they had. The Turners were a highly successful family of morticians. Their funeral home was so large and accommodated so many mourners that in the mid-20′s they became interested in installing an early PA system. This lead to DIY manufacture of PA systems, and eventually microphones. By the Mid-60s, Turner had become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of communications and PA (as opposed to recording and broadcast) mics.
Turner did manufacture some high-end mics for professional audio applications, though. I own a model 510, and it’s not terrible. The grey-blue finish is really stunning. When I get around to it… I hope to do a listening test of the 510 next to some period competitors (EG, Shure SM-56 and an EV 666). 510s are hard to find. The example that I own is the only one that I have ever seen in the flesh.
Much more common are the Turner U9s and its several variants. See this link for a listening test I did with a U99 earlier this year. When Turner describes this mic as rugged, they are not kidding. I own three of these; they are around 50-60 years old, and they all work perfectly. And they get used in the studio for ‘certain’ sounds.
Turner 250 series mics are also commonly found today. They made and sold a shit ton of these for use in PA and paging systems. I like the sound of these mics as a close-mic for raw-sounding rock vocals, along with a good condenser mic a few feet off of the performer for some depth. Blend em and voila. Lots of grit without the typical ‘Strokes-mic’ vibe.